ASTA Applauds Hilton for Including Agents in Direct-Booking Campaign
by Jessica Montevago

The American Society of Travel Agents said today it commends Hilton Worldwide for recognizing travel agents in its new ad campaign.

Both ASTA and Hilton sat down for several “productive” discussions on several industry issues affecting both parties, which ASTA said it hopes to continue.

ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby said "Hilton's recognition of the contribution the agency channel makes to Hilton's success has not gone unnoticed. ASTA applauds Hilton for this action and we look forward to continued dialogue and progress on this and other topics."

Last week, Hilton launched a “Stop Clicking Around” consumer campaign, reinforcing that guests get the best rate by booking direct, through its website or a travel agent. The promotion offers Hilton HHonors members a discount of 10% off the best available rate, free WiFi, and other benefits.

“ ‘Book Direct' means bookings that are made on Hilton Worldwide’s hotel brand websites and reservation call centers, the Hilton HHonors app, directly at a hotel, or through preferred corporate travel partners and approved travel agents,” the website says.

In a statement, Andrew Flack, Hilton Worldwide vice president of global marketing, said Hilton is “100% committed to the travel agent community, which of course includes ASTA members."

Travel Market Report reached out to Hilton to get a clarification of the phrase “approved travel agent,” but representatives declined to comment, though they have been quoted in press reports as saying that refers to travel agents booking through a GDS.

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